2D to 3D

This term our team has been running our very first school programme utilising the Library 3D printer.

Student from 2D to 3D course shows off his

The name of the course is “2D to 3D” and involves 12 students being introduced to a variety of learning and software that allows them to take 2 dimensional design, (arrived at by following a “design process”) through to a finished 3 dimensional product that is printed out on our 3D printer.

We are now just four weeks into this first course and the students have been buzzing about what they are learning. We have taught them how to use the free 123D Design software and most of them are now using it at home whenever they get the opportunity. The first printable project was to create a “pencil copter” which is a propeller device that fits on the end of an HB pencil that actually flies.

Each student (after being taught the basic functions of the software) built their own “copter” in 123D and added their own embellishments to personalise their design. The following week we tested their copters and reflected on what worked well and what could be improved upon.

Great fun!

Some of the students involved in the 2D to 3D course showing off their

Selfies, Maps and a Prince Philip cult: Cool new stuff from our Selectors

Cover of Tigers foreverTigers forever: Saving the world’s most endangered big cat by Steve Winter
This book showcases a decade of beautiful photographs and stories of tigers in the wild.  Alongside the spectacular photography by Steve Winter, and award winning National Geographic photographer are the stories of the committed people from all around the world who dedicate their lives to saving the tiger from extinction

Cover of My first AnimaliaMy first Animalia by Graeme Base
Animalia was first published in 1986, immediately capturing the imagination of children and adults around the world.  My First Animalia celebrates the magic of Animalia in a playful introductory format for the very young, but will appeal to all ages!

Cover of GoGo : a Kidd’s guide to graphic design by Chip Kidd
The author is an award winning graphic designer who has created a kid friendly (and adult friendly too) book on how to get your design ideas across to the world, showing how to make design dynamic and interesting. The back of the book contains 10 suggested projects to get started and these can then be posted to gothebook.com

Cover of MapsMaps by Aleksandra Mizielinska
This collection of 52 highly illustrated maps details not only geographical features and political borders, but also places of interest, iconic personalities, native animals and plants, local peoples, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with each region. Check examples of the maps – they really are quirky and very interesting.  The New Zealand map has lots of well known icons, but nothing for Christchurch.  What is our global icon now?

Cover of SelfiesSelfies: Self -portrait photography with attitude by Jan-Haje Kamps
Apparently the Selfie is more than just pointing the camera at yourself and making a duckface. “Selfie” was added to the online version of the Oxford dictionary in August and is being considered for future inclusion in the more traditional Oxford English Dictionary so it must be here to stay!  This book might be the answer to those endless rather banal images that clutter Facebook, or perhaps Kim Kardashian (the expert in self promotion) can also set you on the right path?

Cover of Man belong Mrs QueenMan belong Mrs Queen : adventures with the Philip worshippers / Baylis, Matthew.
This has to one of the months more unusual books as it is about a Prince Philip- loving cult (Yes you did read this right – the Prince Philip of the dreadful gaffes) that exists on the South Sea Island of Tanna.

On the rumbling slopes of this remarkable volcanic island, banjaxed by daily doses of the local narcotic, suffering from a diet of yams and regularly accused of being a divine emissary of the Duke, Baylis uncovered a religion unlike any other on the planet. Self-deprecating, hilarious and enlightening, “Man Belong Mrs Queen” is travel writing at its horizon-expanding best.

New Zealand design has no bullshit and a twinkle in its eye: Michael Smythe

The Design of delight? at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival was a smörgåsbord of New Zealand product design spanning the 1800s through to the modern-day, the sublime and the mundane: Edmond’s “Sure to rise” baking powder, Christchurch ceramist Mark Cleverley’s Crown Lynn designs, David Trubridge’s unique lighting and furniture, the Fisher & Paykel SmartDrive and DishDrawer, the Mountainbuggy, John Britten’s V1000, the Zespri “Cut and Scoop” designed by Peter Haythornthwaite and the undisputed champion of Kiwi design, Buzzy-bee designed by Maurice Scheslinger circa 1940.

The range, for a design ignoramus such as moi, was astonishing but this litany of design achievements was also tinged with nostalgia. The glory days seem to be locked in the “Pavlova Paradise” of the past and the challenges facing modern-day New Zealand product designers operating in the global marketplace are massive. Michael Smythe’s prescription for Kiwi design success was to foster “a self-confidence with minimal self-consciousness” and to remember New Zealand’s secret weapon, our unique capacity for cross-disciplinary team-work.

Smythe identified design personalities unique to their country of origin i.e. clean and wholesome Scandinavia, Italian flair and style , German rationality, robustness and reliability and The Dutch? Dry and wry! But what of New Zealand design? He characterised it thus:

  • Neither opulent nor sterile
  • With a light touch, not a heavy hand
  • Direct and honest
  • No bullshit with a twinkle in the eye
  • With a delight in what it is, who it is for and how it is made

Smythe also linked in the Maori tradition of ihi, wehi and wana; utility, impact and physical thrill or awe. Smythe looked in some detail at early Maori design, identifying a basalt toki as being one of the first Maori design pieces to give him a tingle up his spine.

While Smythe has put much deep thought into how to frame New Zealand’s design persona, as evidenced by his NZ Post Award winning title New Zealand by design, he was clear that he wanted to generate discussion and the question mark attached to the phrase “Design of delight?” leaves room for alternative encapsulating concepts.

This was a lovely, low-key session with a very engaged audience which included high school students, industry professionals (I saw my first hi-vis vest and hard hat of the festival!) and interested lay-people. The Q&As at the end of the session both expanded and rounded off the topic nicely.

Interior design: A love/hate relationship

CoverI can’t decide whether I love or hate interior design books.  I love the ideas, but have never managed to actually plan anything in my home.  I am I confess a bit of an interior design book junkie, always hopeful that this will be the book that will somehow magically deal with all the clutter.

I avidly read the blurb for a book like Details: A Stylist’s Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors

She specializes in bringing homes alive through the details – a silvery pillow here, a floral screen there, and plenty of personality everywhere.

Really? A silver pillow and a floral screen?  Where would they fit between the dog basket, the abandoned surf board and piles of washing?

I love the sound of Sheer Opulence: Modern Glamour for Today’s Interiors.

Haslam style makes rooms look glamorous and sexy, yet livable, practical and, above all, flattering to their owner and their surroundings.

I am intrigued by the idea of a home being “flattering to the their owner”.  I am hopeful that this book will transform my home and help me look thinner and younger at the same time.

Parisian Interiors: Bold, Elegant, Refined is the sort of book that you just ogle, there is no sense in even thinking about emulating any of these interiors.  Huge rooms bursting with colour, light and very expensive antiques, even described in the blurb as “havens of perfection”.

Casual Living: No-fuss Style for a Comfortable Home sounds more like my style.  Read this book and you can learn about “Country Casual, City Casual and Seaside Casual”.  What about Working mother Casual, or Can’t be bothered Casual?

CoverNot wanting to leave out the kids you could try Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play.  The rooms in this book are something else, and you really do wonder if a child has ever set foot inside them.  For me this epitomises interior design books.  Wonderful to pore over, to marvel at the colour, the design, not to mention the cost, but then to be quietly put aside, and return to the library for some other hopeful customer.

Check out these other resources.